Amongst the Spice Girls and the flared jeans of my 90s wild child wardrobe, sleepovers came to heavily define my childhood. The memories of all my childhood sleepovers are humorous and comforting; as if desperately clinging onto my youth, I jump at every opportunity to have my friends stay over.
The most tangible memory that I have is from when I was ten years old and my friends and I were discussing which Disney Prince we wanted to marry. Our overly excited cackling turned into silence as we heard the menacing creaks of my parent’s bedroom door and the tired footsteps of my father that soon followed. In a unanimous effort, we crawled under the covers and tossed an arm or a leg in an awkward position. Through half-shut eyes I squinted at my suspicious father standing at the door, pondering the legitimacy of our heavy breathing and shambolic sleeping positions. I desperately tried to stifle my amusement at his naivety. After he left with a defeated sigh and retreated back into the darkness of the hallway, we all sprang back into our original positions and continued talking into the night as if nothing had interrupted our conversation at all.
The sleepover talks during my childhood were adorably superficial, drawing on topics that didn’t waver far from devishly cute boy band members and horribly tacky names that we swore we would give our future children. Looking back on those conversations, I smile at how parallel they are to the conversations I have at sleepovers now. In my desperate attempt at trying to isolate my adolescent sleepover talks from my ‘adult’ ones, I find that there has actually been no evolution of my sleepover talks at all. I remember that at a recent sleepover, I glorified a shirtless Ryan Gosling and received a chorus of heavy sighs; it is enlightening that as mature females, we still discuss the same topics, with that same air of shamelessness and lack of restraint. Rather than being a reflection of our immaturity, I see this as an endearing perspective of how we are still able to relive our youth.
As a twenty year old, I still congregate with friends in that familiarly giddy fashion to talk about aspects of life that intrigued me even when I was ten; the disorderly spread of ice-cream tubs, large spoons, and tasteless magazines on the floor remains unchanged as well. It is almost as if I have never quite grown up, and the chasm that separated my childhood and my adulthood has magically fused through my abiding love for sleepovers.
A catalyst for our tangents and rants, sleepover talk is essentially an embodiment of our overt femininity. Maybe it’s the pajamas or the comforting huddle of your closest friends that provoke so many liberating discussions. But maybe the allure of sleepover talk lies in the complexity of its language: the fearless articulation of secrets, predicaments, aspirations (however ambitious), and opinions on life. In this respect, it is no wonder that the concept of “sleepovers” remains so incredibly elusive to boys; they will never quite comprehend what we talk about in the dark.